In the works: Program to reward agent loyalty

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NAPLES -- Chuck Katan, vice president of sales and marketing for Coral Beach Hotels & Resorts here, is focusing on developing an agent loyalty program, with input from John E. Ayres Jr., chairman of the management concern, and Joseph Freni Jr., president.

"We need travel agents and want to make ourselves easy to do business with," Freni said.

Under consideration by Katan and his team will be increasing the speed of commission payments from every Friday to within 48 hours of checkout.

Also to be studied will be the protection of commissions on a direct rebooking. Both of these policies are followed by Ritz-Carlton, according to Freni, a former executive of that chain. Freni also envisions override pay during selected periods.

Agents, "bruised by the airlines," deserve fair compensation if they work hard to "sell our products," he said.

The Coral Collection properties also pay commission on corporate rates, he said. Such rates can be quoted by contacting each hotel or by requesting them through Katan's office, which can be reached at (941) 430-0600, Ext. 228.

Agents, who generate 10% of the Coral Collection hotels' business, need to be exposed more to the properties, Freni said.

Thus, based on availability, agents are invited to stay for one night free at a member hotel; they would pay 50% for each additional night.

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